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London in the Fog: The Artistic Response to Air Pollution

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This talk is open to the public and may be podcast

In 1870 W. L. Wyllie exhibited his painting London from the Monument. It aroused fierce criticism for its ‘disagreeable’ representation of London’s air. Worse was to follow when a picture dealer took out a penknife and stuck it in the middle of the canvas. Wyllie was not the first English artist to discover that a realistic representation of London, especially its smoke and fog, was not acceptable to many critics and the buying public. My talk looks at the ways in which this attitude slowly changed through the works of, among others, Turner, Monet, Whistler and the Japanese artist, Yoshio Markino.

This talk is part of the Wolfson College Humanities Society talks series.

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